Dallas Cowboys: Positives from Gerald McCoy injury (On the bright side)

Neville Gallimore #90 (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Neville Gallimore #90 (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /

Let’s look on the bright side of a very dark situation for the Dallas Cowboys

There’s no way one could possibly spin Gerald McCoy’s season ending quad injury as a “good thing”. The Dallas Cowboys were banking on the 10-year vet to be a well-rounded force at the 3-tech this season and they have very little proven depth behind him. Losing him is very, very bad.

But the Dallas Cowboys do have a bright side to consider. In other words, this could have been a helluva lot worse. So today we look at a couple positives surrounding this undeniably bad situation.

Youth Movement

In a way, this forces the Dallas Cowboys to lean on their younger prospects. Over the past two drafts the Cowboys have invested two top-100 picks in defensive tackles. Both tackles are slated to play the same position as McCoy (3-tech) and both have tantalizing, yet underdeveloped, skills to work with.

When camp began, the opportunities didn’t look great for Trysten Hill (Dallas’ top draft pick last year). He severely underwhelmed last season and was permanently entrenched in Rod Marinelli’s doghouse. Even with the new coaching staff, it looked like Hill was on the outside looking in this year.

Dallas is only expected to keep four defensive tackles this season and McCoy, Dontari Poe, and rookie Neville Gallimore were basically locks. That left Antwaun Woods and Hill battling it out for the last roster spot. And considering Dallas specifically needed a 1-tech to back up Poe, the odds were not in Hill’s favor.

This injury changes everything for Hill.

Hill has looked good in camp and has been earning the respect of his teammates. It’s the perfect storm for a redemption season for Hill. The rookie Gallimore will also get a ton of opportunities now that McCoy is out. The high-motor player out of Oklahoma is a coach’s dream and he has the quickness, power, and hustle to be used in a rotation right away.

The Cowboys, expected to compete for a title this year, may have been resistant to giving these young bucks a chance at meaningful snaps had McCoy not been hurt. This injury could force their hand and it could pay off in the long run if either of these guys play up to their potential.


The fact that this terrible injury happened early in camp and not at the end of the camp is extremely fortunate. The Dallas Cowboys have time to give Hill and Gallimore a legitimate opportunity and won’t feel pressured to make a trade or drastic position change immediately.

Now they can give the young bucks their full attention. Heavy workloads and constant attention will speed their development. And if they prove they’re not up to the task, Dallas has time to look for answers elsewhere.

Keep in mind, even though he plays the 1-tech, Snacks Harrison is out there on the market. If Dallas wanted to play Woods more at 3-tech, signing Snacks might make sense in a rotation with Poe.

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As Dan Ruppert mentioned this morning, last year’s undrafted free agent signing, Daniel Wise, is also available. It may be worth kicking his tires as well. In a trade, Kawann Short or Maurice Hurst could be available on the cheap. Either of them could serve as a frontline band-aid should other options not work out.

Dallas Cowboys Wrap-up

While there’s nothing good about the season ending injury to Gerald McCoy, there is a bright side in the timing and circumstance of the situation. Since the injury happened so early, Dallas has time to explore all of the options (free agency, trade, internal). The timing also allows them to focus attention on their developmental players, Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore.

The Dallas Cowboys have both time and options on their side. None are better than what a healthy McCoy offered but all of them are workable solutions that could payoff in the long-run.

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Gerald McCoy was lost for the season but there is a bright side to consider for the Dallas Cowboys.

  • Published on 08/18/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 08/18/2020 at 11:21 AM